Thursday, June 16, 2011


The eastern sky last evening brought our attention to the left half of a double rainbow.  Different shades of ornery-looking blue clouds back staged this magical blending of water and light.
  • Rainbows occur when it's both raining and the sun is shining simultaneously.  To see a rainbow, you must stand with your back to the sun, otherwise it won't be visible.
  • The main colors of a rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  These colors are called the colors of the spectrum.
  • From the ground, a rainbow appears as all or part of a great arc of color.  When viewed from an airplane, it is possible to see an entire circle as you can look down on raindrops as well as up to them.
  • Rainbows tend to be seen in the later afternoon when a thundershower has passed, and the sun from the west is shining on the receding edge of a raincloud moving east. 
  • You can never be directly under a rainbow.
  • No two people can ever see the same rainbow.  As the eyes of two people cannot occupy the same place in space at the same time, each observer sees a different rainbow.  That's because the raindrops are constantly in motion so its appearance is always changing.  Each time you see  a rainbow, it is unique from all the others.  Each eye sees its own rainbow.
  • Probably the most famous of rainbow legends is the one that at the end of every rainbow lays a pot of gold guarded by a Leprechaun.  The leprechauns are sly and cunning mythical beings, and they're known to be little tricksters that are always trying to outsmart humans.
  • There's a story about a man who once tricked a leprechaun into revealing the location of his valuables.  The treasure was located beneath a bush in a large field surrounded by other similar bushes.  The man needed to go off and get a shovel with which to dig up the treasure, so he tied a red ribbon to the bush so he could identify it on his return.  He made the leprechaun promise not to take it off.  Convinced he was more clever than the leprechaun and had secured his gold, he went off to get his shovel.  On his return, however, he found that the little creature had tied a red ribbon on every other bush in the field.
  • Moral of the story:  Chances of ever finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow are pretty slim!